Rat Meat Passes For Lamb in Shanghai

If you have ordered lamb or mutton for hotpot in Shanghai over the last four years, you might have been served rat, fox or mink. (Image: via  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
If you have ordered lamb or mutton for hotpot in Shanghai over the last four years, you might have been served rat, fox or mink. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Sorry to sound like the Shanghai food report today, but while writing up the coffee story I posted earlier, news broke that at least one purveyor in the city has been selling rat meat as lamb. Makes Europe’s minced horse scandal sound tame by comparison.

The good news is that the police are onto it. The South China Morning Post reports:

The ministry said in a press release on its website:

Wei’s organisation was raided in Jiangsu and Shanghai in February, which led to the arrest of 63 suspects and the seizure of 10 tonnes of meat and additives. Police estimates that Wei’s sales over the last four years have reached a value of 10 million yuan ($US1.6 million).

The story has strong parallels with the horse meat saga. Just as horse is acceptable to eat in some cultures, so is rat, including in China, Ghana and many other countries. But many people will find it outrageous to pass off rat as lamb to unsuspecting customers.

 

rat meat

Although rat is acceptable to eat in some cultures, including in China, many people will find it outrageous to pass off rat as lamb to unsuspecting customers. (Image supplied by SmartPlanet)

I’ll leave it for you to ruminate all the social and business implications of this unfortunate occurrence. I will however whimsically suggest this business opportunity: How about an app that tests the contents of your burger/meat pie/hotpot for beef, horse, rat, cat, salamander or whatever else it is you might suspect or desire.

For an extra fee, an in-app feature could even help you find the nearest outlet and locate your favourite sauce. We’re always thinking innovation here at SmartPlanet.

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